In Bamei people belong to the Zhuang minority. Bamei means 'cave in the forest' in Zhuang language. It is said that the ancestors of Bamei residents are a Zhuang family of Guangdong Province. Six hundred years ago, they escaped from brutal outlaws and found the cave by chance. They believed it was a perfect place to hide, so later they invited some friends to live with them. Since then, the village had become a Peach Blossom Valley for these virtuous, amicable Zhuang people. They get up when sun rises and go to bed when sun sets. No one worries about their job or the future. Life is simple and easy for them. They can do everything for themselves. They plant rice paddies and cotton, spin and weave their own clothes, make bean curd with stone grinders, and even produce their own cooking oil. As long as they have enough salt, they can stay in the village without contact with the outside world.
The main ethnic groups in Bamei is Zhuang ethnic minority.
Besides sharing similar festivals with the Han, they have their unique ones including:the Devil Festival, the Ox Soul Festival, and the Singing Festival.
The Devil Festival
The Devil Festival, held on July 14th of the lunar month, is regarded as an occasion second to the Spring Festival. The day before the Devil Festival, every family does a thorough house cleaning and makes special preparations of outfits used in the sacrifice. On that day, duck, pork and good wines along with some candies and fruits must be offered in order to show great respect to their ancestors.
The Ox Soul Festival
The Ox Soul Festival held on April 8th of the lunar month is to celebrate the birthday of the king of oxen and to show their love and respect to the ox, therefore, each ox is relieved from their yokes and free from plowing. People give the ox a bath accompanied with beating drums. Parents of a family feed the ox with five-colored glutinous rice, while singing folksongs. It is a festival that represents their great hope for a good harvest.
The Singing Festival
The Singing Festival is a traditional occasion which was held before 1940 to visit graves of the ancestors. Now it has become a grand sentimental occasion using songs for their expression. On that day, after offering sacrifices to Sanjie Liu (a Zhuang minority girl good at singing), they will sing to each other to challenge each other not only the song itself but also wit. Lyrics are usually improvisational and humorous that makes every one burst into laughter. It is also a perfect day for the young men to express their love to the girls by singing, so it is also reputed as the Valentine's Day of the Zhuang ethnic minority.
Other cultures such as frescoes and bronze drums are also of splendid fame.
The Zhuang minority's frescoes carved on the steep cliffs are of extreme Zhuang characteristics. Figures, beasts and some other patterns carved 2,000 years ago will make everyone appreciate the image of their ancestors and the superb technique.
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